Prada Transformer By OMA

Prada Transformer, a portable, shape-shifting cultural pavilion designed by Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), will make its first appearance in Seoul, Korea next month. The Transformer is located adjacent to the traditional 16th Century Kyounghee Palace and adds a modern element to the historical context.

The pavilion takes the form of a tetrahedron with one hexagonal face, one cross-shaped face, one rectangular face and one circular face.

The form of the Transformer is derived from a Tetrahedron and when rotated each side facilitates a different program. The programs envisioned include the Prada Waist down Exhibition, an art exhibit by a world renowned artist and a movie festival. The final closing event of the pavilion will entail a Prada fashion show for 500 guests.

In order to accommodate a range of different fashion, art and movie events in 2009, cranes will rotate, and then flip the pavilion into 4 different façade and floor plate configurations.

From OMA:

Launching in Seoul at the end of April 2009, the highly anticipated Prada Transformer designed by OMA/Rem Koolhaas will showcase a groundbreaking series of cross-cultural exhibitions, screenings and live events. For five months this shape-shifting venue will host multiple interdisciplinary projects, bringing a unique mix of visual arts to Korea.

The Transformer combines the four sides of a tetrahedron: hexagon, cross, rectangle and circle into one pavilion. The building, entirely covered with a smooth elastic membrane, will be flipped using cranes, completely reconfiguring the visitor’s experience with each new program. Each side plan is precisely designed to organize a different event installation creating a building with four identities. Whenever one shape becomes the ground plan, the other three shapes become the walls and the ceiling defining the space, as well as referencing historic or anticipating future event configurations.

‘Waist Down – Skirts by Miuccia Prada’, an ongoing project by Miuccia Prada in collaboration with AMO, makes its Korean debut on April 25, showcasing a collection of skirts ‘in motion’ ranging from the first ever Prada show to the present day. Skirts by emerging Korean fashion students will be included to show the interaction between two fashion worlds and to amplify the meaning of fashion from different cultural perspectives.

The exhibition space will then be transformed into a cinema showing a program of films selected by Alejandro González Iñárritu, the director of Oscar-winning Babel. ‘Flesh, Mind and Soul’ is the concept for the unique program – to be launched on June 26 – co-curated by film critic Elvis Mitchell, spanning multiple genres, countries and decades of film-making including a rich and substantial amount of physical, intellectual and spiritual films that will create a whole cinematic experience.

Subsequently, the Prada Foundation will present an exhibition, ‘Beyond Control’, curated by Germano Celant, which will ‘transform’ the interior of the architectural object by OMA into an inspiring magma of works by some of the most significant contemporary artists.

Further cultural activities will be announced in the lead-up to the launch of the project. Prada and the Prada Foundation have combined their resources with their local partners’ to develop an extraordinary program for the Prada Transformer’s innovative, changing stages. As the fields of fashion, art, film, design and performance now inform and influence each other with increasing diversity and complexity, this program aims to stimulate and embrace multi-disciplinarian discourse.

Situated next to the 16th-century Gyeonghui Palace, the Prada Transformer – realized with the support of LG Electronics, Hyundai Motor Company and Red Resource Inc. – dramatically juxtaposes Korean history, tradition and folklore with this 21st-century multi-dimensional event space. Due to Seoul Metropolitan Government’s passion and dedication to cultural projects, the Prada Transformer was well received and fully supported by the City. Visibly attuned to Seoul’s modern positioning as a forward-looking and technologically advanced metropolis, the Prada Transformer is part of Prada’s global commitment to the production of new realities in fashion, art, architecture and creative culture.

The architectural project is led by Rem Koolhaas together with associates Kunle Adeyemi and Chris van Duijn, and design architect Alexander Reichert.’

For further information visit the project’s website.

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